Hands-on Computer Tasks Used for NAEP Assessment

If your school is not yet investing in teaching and using technology in the classroom, this US Department of Education report may be the impetus needed to spur the school on to this task. Digital technology is the future of education, so students need to know how to use it effectively for learning. This report on using digital technology as part of the educational experience in science–especially science labs–is an important and necessary item to review. Although the National Center for Education Statistics report came out in 2009, its existence is again released by NEAP to remind schools of the importance of digital technology in education, especially science education.

From this NEAP report (National Assessment of Educational Progress):

For the first time, the NAEP science assessment also included interactive computer tasks in science. While performing the interactive computer and hands-on tasks, students manipulate objects and perform actual experiments, offering us richer data on how students respond to scientific challenges. Several key discoveries were observed.

Report findings:

  • Students were successful on parts of investigations that involved limited sets of data and making straightforward observations of that data.
  • Students were challenged by parts of investigations that contained more variables to manipulate or involved strategic decision making to collect appropriate data.
  • The percentage of students who could select correct conclusions from an investigation was higher than for those students who could select correct conclusions and also explain their results.

via Science in Action: Hands-On and Interactive Computer Tasks From the 2009 Science Assessment.

#educ_dr

Calming, Laughing, and Liking: The Amygdala and Learning « Teaching/Management

While reading through my email today, I came across this education blog titled “Calming, Laughing, and Liking: The Amygdala and Learning.” With a neuroscientist husband, my own graduate studies led me to study the relationship between the brain and learning. Sure, we all know that the brain is responsible for helping us make sense of the world, but do we really know how and why? And can parts of the brain actually prevent us from or hinder learning? This author partly addressed this question, as well as the relationship between academic and professional reading and writing. Perhaps one of the more important questions for educators, however, is

Does the teacher really do what she tells us to do?

It made me wonder if I ask my doctoral students to do something I don’t do myself–carefully read the literature in one’s field of study on a regular basis, think about what that literature means to my specific interests as well as how it adds to my knowledge, and how the article or post helps me with my own academic writing. My response was “yes” to all the questions. However, that response does not answer the question about why I, too, find it difficult to write academic or academically oriented items.

This blogger also discusses the area of the brain that might actually mediate our learning and sharing, and it is a small part of the brain called the amygdala. On learning and the amygdala, the blogger states:

we literally can’t learn when our fear centers are lit up.

and it is this little area that can prevent learning in general, and learning to write for publication (thoughtfully sharing learned information in work written in an acceptable manner), especially for academic and professional purposes.

Do I do what I tell my students to do? I definitely try, but I, too, have a fear of professionally sharing in academic environments.

Incidentally, at the end of this blog is a link to a list of readings related to the amygdala and learning.

Read on here:

via Calming, Laughing, and Liking: The Amygdala and Learning « Teaching/Management.

or copy and paste this URL into your browser: http://teachingmanagement.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/calming-liking-and-focusing-the-amygdala-and-learning/

#educ_dr

College Affordability and Completion | U.S. Department of Education

To all who are interested in what’s happening in post-secondary education, this is an interesting government blog site to follow. It follows education issues related to minority access and colleges as well as general issues. These posts appear to be aimed at both the general public and institutions of higher learning.

College Affordability and Completion | U.S. Department of Education.

Here’s the URL, if you need to copy and paste into your browser:

http://www.ed.gov/college-completion

#educ_dr